Friday, June 11, 2010

The Taliban Continues Its Reign of Horrors 2 ***Strong Content Advisory***

Editor note: I had to split this post after publication because the CNN embeds would not reflect the two separate videos.

Here's a more clearly verifiable case of crimes against humanity, Mr. Karzai:

The callous behavior of the the witnesses to the flogging (and there's so much more about the shelters for these girls and women so please, please watch the video...) is just appalling. The number of men enjoying photographing the flogging is beyond words.

Over the past few months I've continued to ruminate about Bibi Aisha and the other women who have been 'punished' by the Taliban, some like the poor girl silently enduring flogging in the video above or others suffering even more egregious abuse at the hands of 'family' as did Bibi. You can read an update about Bibi's potential travel to the US for her reconstructive surgery here. You can contribute to her travel fund by PayPal with the link at the bottom of the page.

Bibi Aisha, Survivor

You can seek to aid Afghan women and Manizha Naderi's shelter at:

The book Women for Afghan Women is available from St. Martin's Press. Sadly, the book was written in 2002, back when Dr. Sima Samar was supposed to be Hamid Karzai's commitment to change and improved welfare for women in Afghanistan. When I look at the second video above, I wonder what has changed. How can Karzai's government ever change anything in Afghanistan if the lot of women there is not changed? So many studies and organizations have shown that if you want to improve a country's poverty level, and especially the educational level of its people as a whole, you must begin with helping their women. Afghanistan is a sad place these days if that's the case. The only ones helping are these brave women in the shelters and a few advocacy groups.

The courageous women running the shelters in Afghanistan deserve our support. If you can give, give, but if you can't afford to give and you have a Facebook page, post links to their news stories, 'Like' their Facebook page, and simply tell your friends. Spread the word. 

And I really hope you watch that second video above. I think back to when my daughter was fourteen and just can't imagine how any person could allow their child to be consigned to such a fate. It's seeing things like that which make me think that Thelma Lee's ideal of the world becoming culturally indeterminate is a goal worth striving for at almost any cost.

On another note UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) is asking Americans to write their Congressperson about funding for a program to prevent and treat obstetric fistula in third world countries. You can take action here. To learn more about what obstetric fistula is, go here. I urge all US readers of the blog to write their congressperson. It will take only a moment of your time.


  1. Some magazine like Seventeen (of all things) ran a story about Afghan women's lives in about the summer or fall of 2000, and ever since then, whenever I see the word Taliban or burqa, it just makes me want to fly over there with a death ray. Really. Of course, if I did that, I'd get my head chopped off or I'd be stoned because I'm an uppity woman.

    The lives of the women of Afghanistan are just... there is NO excuse for the rest of the world letting this happen. NONE.

  2. I totally concur CN, and the thing that is so sad is that we largely at this time support Karzai's regime as presently constituted. While I cannot in any way believe that Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama support women being treated this way (and I know Bush wouldn't have, either) the raw and hard fact is that we back the government and have not provided them with the military support to make change at a community level. Sima Samar was removed from her post as Minister because she was viewed as too liberal and outspoken about the violations. And that was the end of the brief burst of women's rights after the US invaded and installed Karzai.

    We need to remember these Afghan women, some of whom, like those in RAWA who taped the Taliban's public floggings and executions in soccer stadiums built with US and Russian dollars knowing full well that if caught, they would have suffered the same fate, or possibly even worse, themselves.

  3. I think there was a dusting off of hands after the initial rousting of the Taliban and Karzai's installment, like, "Okay, check, that's done, let's move on to bigger and better things." This is a simplification, but it definitely dropped off of people's radars. And as people are now aware, this has allowed the Taliban to come back in force. :(

    There's just so much "what if" to be had here. What if we hadn't invaded Iraq? Would the extra resources in Afghanistan be changing that part of the world right now? I marched against the Iraq war in February 2003 for that reason. Unfortunately......

  4. I protested vocally too. We abandoned Afghanistan once before and in a very real sense, we have abandoned at least half their population again. It is really tragic and a source of shame for our nation that we are largely silent while women endure such horrors in a country we largely support and partly run. I look at Bibi's face and just feel horror. There are even worse cases on RAWA's website. Some are just too awful to post even here, since my youngest reads the blog from time to time.